January 6, 2009
Gutentagen from Frankfurt, Germany! It’s 6:00 a.m. here and I’m at the airport on my way to Dusseldorf for the PSI Show, Europe’s (and, in fact, the world’s) largest ad specialties show.
Starting tomorrow, the show is set to welcome 21,000 attendees visiting over 500,000 square feet of exhibitors’ booth space. It is huge, it is wildly impressive and it is one of the best-run shows I’ve ever been to, featuring the year’s most innovative and chic product designs on display. It’s here where you see the creativity first, before it gets knocked off in China.
The flight from Philly to Frankfurt lasted almost eight hours, which is a cake walk compared to the 18-hour special brand of airborne hell I’ll be on in April when I fly to Asia for the Canton Show and Hong Kong Gift Fair. Let me know if you’re going… We can plan on medicating together!
The flight was also unexpectedly pleasant… I fly so often that I’ve become a jaded, bitchy traveler, one who sinks sullenly into her own fur coat on the plane rather than interact with anyone, and who listens to her iPod with a distinct “Disturb at Your Own Risk” aura enveloping her.
But on this particular flight, I sat with a 10-year-old German boy named Jannick (his parents were a few rows behind us) who was so precocious he told me he wants to grow up and live at Disneyland, but commute daily via his own plane to Wall Street where he’ll be an investment banker. This child was so self-assured, I have no doubt he’ll do it. Rock on, my little Gordon Gekko!
Next to him was 20-year-old Ryan from Cherry Hill, NJ, who was going to Europe for the first time to attend school in France for five months. He was so enthusiastic and full of optimism, I thought he was adorable. Or, maybe it was the fact that he asked if I was “a grad student.” God bless dim boys and dimmer airplane lighting. If it wouldn’t have bordered on a felony, I would have kissed him on the spot.
The three of us had a delightful time watching movies in sync, so much so that when I disembarked the plane, I had a renewed zeal and zest for travel. Right up until the point when I set off the metal detectors in the security line in Frankfurt. What was the reason, you may wonder? That would be my underwire bra, which — when the security agent waved the wand over me — sent the alarms screeching. Of course after a spectacle like that, the hands-on body search is imminent.
I will tell you: There’s nothing quite like entering a foreign country at 6:00 a.m. and being felt up by a burly German woman. At least she could have sprung for flowers and breakfast… ; )
Cheers and more tomorrow from Dusseldorf, where I will be staying aboard Polyconcept’s floating hotel boat, as a guest of the ever-suave and charming Philippe Varnier, the company’s chairman/CEO, and my favorite dance partner, Yann Leca, its CFO. Can. Not. Wait.